In 2023, Prince’s Trust USA in partnership with City Year piloted the Enterprise Challenge program with middle and high school students in New York and Chicago. The Enterprise Challenge encourages and inspires a new generation of entrepreneurs through gamification and mentorship. The program, which is delivered by The Prince’s Trust in 11 countries globally, is a schools-based competition for secondary school ages, where students develop their entrepreneurial spirit and business knowledge. With guidance from a business mentor, students form teams and play a computer-based business simulation game. Over six sessions of one hour each, the game takes them through the stages of setting up and running a business. Top performing teams then work with their business mentor to develop a pitch for a social enterprise, and are invited to a national finals competition to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges.
By focusing on social enterprise, students are encouraged to think about innovative solutions to modern societal, environmental or economic problems, and the role of enterprise in addressing these issues. The business simulation game and pitch competition also build young people’s transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and problem solving.
City Year is an ideal partner for Prince’s Trust USA as their City Year AmeriCorps members already serve as student success coaches, supporting the development, growth, and success of students in systemically under-resourced schools, while cultivating skills to be leaders in their communities and careers. Given their presence in 29 cities across the United States, they have a deep understanding of the students’ needs and are already performing a mentorship role within the classroom, which will ensure stronger outcomes at the end of the program.
The Enterprise Challenge has already been delivered to 110 young people in New York and Chicago. With the success of these pilot programs Prince’s Trust USA is looking to expand its partnership with City Year to two new cities in 2024 and looks forward to holding a US finals event where the highest performing teams from the 4 participating cities will compete against each other to win seed funding to help launch their business idea.
We would like to thank The Watches of Switzerland Group for being our founding corporate partner of these programs.
The Trust was founded on the vision that every young person should have the chance to succeed – a vision that remains unchanged today.
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